The men and women picked as jurors for alleged drug kingpin Joaquin (El Chapo) Guzman’s high-profile trial are going to have their identities under wraps, a Brooklyn federal judge decided.
Judge Brian Cogan said Monday that prosecutors presented “strong and credible reasons to believe that the jury needs protection.”
The ruling means the prosecution and defense won’t know any specifics about the jurors, who will enter and exit the courthouse with marshals, taken to an undisclosed meeting point.
Guzman faces a mountain of drug trafficking charges, and Cogan pointed to his indictment accusing the Sinaloa Cartel leader of using hitmen who silenced possible witnesses and retaliated against suspected cooperators.
There was a good chance Guzman’s jurors would worry about their own safety given the circumstances, Cogan said.
Guzman is slated for another court appearance later this month. His marathon trial could go for months, starting in the fall.